[Photo of Michael D. LaFaive]

Michael D. LaFaive

Senior Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative

Michael LaFaive is the senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, where he has worked since 1995.

He is the author or co-author of hundreds of essays, commentaries and blog posts and 12 studies on fiscal policy topics as varied as local and state privatization efforts, corporate welfare, school finance, state budgeting and cigarette taxes.

Among his studies is the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s largest, a nearly 200-page state budget analysis that recommended more than 200 ideas for trimming some $2 billion from the state budget without cutting Medicaid or School Aid funding. Many ideas first presented by LaFaive in 2003 have been adopted or adapted by lawmakers in Lansing.

He is also the originator of the Center’s annual school privatization survey, which routinely garners a 100 percent response rates from districts. There is no database of competitive contracting like it in the United States. In addition to this product, LaFaive authored in 2001 a 26-page, full-color edition of Michigan Privatization Report specifically dedicated to fixing Detroit. The ideas in that publication are more relevant today than when it was published.

LaFaive is perhaps best known, however, for his cutting-edge, scholarly work examining state “economic development” programs. His studies and frequent commentaries on this topic have garnered him a national, if not international reputation as a respected government development critic and were probably influential in the decision to kill the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the state’s high-profile corporate welfare program. 

LaFaive has been interviewed more than 1,300 times by the media in the last ten years. He is typically interviewed more than 125 times a year by members of the press seeking comment on fiscal issues and remains a popular public speaker.

He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Central Michigan University.

LaFaive is married and resides in Midland, MI.

On Economic Development, Michigan Repeats MEGA Mistake

Lawmakers May Further Subsidize Millionaires and Billionaires with New Program

Special Deals for Special Corporations

State Tourism Subsidies Unnecessary, Ineffective and Unfair

Mackinac Center Praises Lawmakers Trying To Hold Pure Michigan Program Accountable

One Democratic lawmaker tried to defund multi-million dollar program; others calling for investigation into unsubstantiated ROI claims … more

Governor's Tourism Conference Must Address Pure Michigan Shortfalls

Mackinac Center analyst offers counterpoint to state’s promotion campaign … more

The Secrecy of 'Pure Michigan'

Updated Research Affirms Link between Cigarette Taxes and Smuggling

Interactive map shows taxes and smuggling by state … more

Mackinac Center Analyst: Senate Bills 111-115 Are Corporate Cronyism

LaFaive available to comment on pending legislation … more

Mackinac Center Expert Available for Comment on FY 2018 Budget Release

Fiscal policy analyst to be in Lansing Wednesday for Snyder’s presentation … more